Commuting in megacities will only offer you two choices: you either get to where you need to go on time looking like you went to war, or you can get there late and comfortable. This is because commuting by public transportation means dealing with hundreds of other commuters for a place inside the vehicle.
On the other hand, traveling by private car means that you’ll be dealing with the never-ending traffic congestion everywhere you go. Because megacities are overpopulated with residents who have their cars, it’s understandable that the streets are always full of both private and public vehicles.
By promoting and improving the existing modes of public transportation, the ever-growing traffic problem may be solved little by little. Of course, this means addressing the current issues with the available transportation options today, such as safety, cleanliness, cheaper fares, and timeliness.
Better transportation policies must be enacted to encourage the inhabitants of megacities to depend more on public vehicles for their day-to-day commutes. Take, for instance, the positive changes that the SMRT Chairman has done to the public transportation system of Singapore after taking his post.
Seah Moon Ming even took a bow back in 2017 to apologize to the public for the disruption to the train operations and acknowledged the issues they had yet to resolve. This showed that he was willing to listen to the public’s woes about the transportation system and was determined to address the areas that required improvement. This shows that he is willing to listen to the public’s woes about the current transportation system and is determined to address the areas where they are still lacking.
The changes have to be implemented by those seated at the top — the leaders, policymakers, and key figures in the megacities. That’s the only way to improve the existing modes of transportation and hope for a better future. Below are the most common options for public transportation within megacities:
Trains and Subways
Among all the modes of public transportation on this list, trains and subways are often considered the most practical options for daily commutes. This is because they’re not only reasonably priced, but they’re also faster compared to other modes since trains and subways have their railways.
The biggest con in using this mode of transportation is if the train or subway car experiences downtime because it can affect all the commuters inside it. Sometimes, it’s also possible that the train or subway cars will be too full, particularly during rush hours because a lot of commuters rely on these modes to get to where they need to go.
Buses and Minibuses
After the trains and subways, buses come next in line for popular transportation options, especially for long-distance traveling. Bus fares are often cheaper than having to rent a private car when traveling to far places. And it makes much more sense to take a bus if the trains don’t take the routes you need to go to.
Within the megacities, buses and minibusses also provide an alternative option for commuters who don’t mind dealing with the traffic, particularly if they’re not in a rush to get to their destination. Besides, riding a bus on the road can be more comfortable than standing in a train or subway car underground.
Taxis and Ride-shares
Some people with a bigger spending budget will prefer comfort to convenience, which means they may lean more towards riding taxis or booking ride-shares to get to their destinations. They won’t mind paying a higher fare if it means they can be comfortable in a private space during their travel.
But of course, they may be more vulnerable to being stuck in traffic since they’ll be with other private vehicles on the road, unlike trains with their railways and buses with their lanes. To improve this, policymakers need to focus on how to solve the traffic problem, or at least ease the burden that it puts on commuters every day.
Although not technically considered a mode of public transportation, bicycles can be a good solution to short-distance traveling inside the megacities. These bikes can be rented from credible establishments so that commuters won’t have to get a taxi, ride a bus, or travel by subway to get to their destination.
Additionally, riding bicycles can reduce the carbon emissions within the megacities, and can also encourage fitness among commuters. Of course, this means that safe bike lanes must be provided so that people won’t have to worry about their safety should they choose to ride a bike to work.
If the existing modes of public transportation are safe, practical, and convenient, most people would hardly consider getting their cars because doing so costs too much money. However, because they’re losing hope that the public transportation system can get better, they’re choosing the easier option — to get a private vehicle — even if it means adding to the ever-growing traffic problem.